Thursday, September 3, 2009
BANGKOK, Sept 3 (TNA) - A total of 110 ethnic Hmong from 29 families in the Lao PDR were repatriated to their places of origin Thailand’s neighbour to the north, from Ban Huay Nam Khao shelter in the northern province of Phetchabun, according to Lt-Gen. Nipat Thonglek, Chief of the Royal Thai Army's Border Affairs Department.
Gen Nipat said the Lao border department chief headed the team to receive the repatriates.
Thailand has previously repatriated 17 groups of Hmong to Laos and has so far sent back 3,059 people from the ethnic minority group to their homeland to date.
Many men among the Hmong helped the United States fighting against the communist Pathet Lao (Lao Peoples' Army) during the Indochina War in the 1960s and 1970s.
After the communist victory, many Hmong fled their places of birth and settled in the US and other Western countries, while many remain in Thailand and are reluctant to return to their homeland for fear that the Lao government might persecute them. (TNA)